For as long as I can remember, I have always understood that any sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin. Thanks to good upbringing, I didn’t encounter any form of sexual abuse that opened me up to sex at a very tender age. For some of us, this was not the case. We got exposed to sex at a tender age, or were in the category of “hot teenagers”, constantly being pursued for sex.
Coming into Christianity at any stage, we find that fornication is a sin. A lot of Christians know this, but still struggle, some have even looked for several ways to justify fornication. Why is this so?
There’s a popular saying by Myles Munroe, ‘when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.’ I believe understanding the actual goal of sexual purity would eliminate the struggles that come with it. So, what is the true purpose of sexual purity?
Sexual Purity is about honoring God with your body (regardless of your gender). Many Christians struggle with this concept because of the wrong notion they have about it. Here are some common misconceptions about Sexual Purity;
- Staying pure to “honor one’s future husband” especially for the ladies. Sexual Purity by God’s standard is for both genders, not for the wife to honor her husband alone.
- Staying pure to prove to friends that are sexually active outside of marriage that you can stay celibate for long or are better than they are.
- Staying pure so that God can “pity you” and give you a great spouse (this is a common thought amongst ladies).
- Staying pure so that when topics about sexual immorality is preached in church, you can point noses and raise your shoulders.
- Staying pure to avoid the risk of getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant.
- Staying pure to make your parents proud (which can be a good thing but the motive is unsustainable).
Purity is about GOD. It is not about you or how long you can stay celibate. Sexual purity is achieved with the help of the Holy Spirit, by a deep understanding that you’ve been bought with a price (the precious blood of Jesus) and God lives in you — YOU are God’s temple. (1 Cor 6:19)
Why does this matter?
God’s ultimate plan is to dwell with humanity, this plan was disrupted when the first man sinned and the relationship between God and man was “broken”. Jesus came to restore that relationship through His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. Now, everyone who believes in the finished work of Jesus on the cross can have God’s Holy Spirit living within them and a real relationship with God.
As Christians, our bodies do not belong to us, they belong to God (Gal 2:20). Our bodies are a gift from God and we ought to be good stewards of every gift God has given us, including the gift of our bodies. God dwells in us, His spirit lives within us.
Why is it so important that we don’t desecrate God’s temple — our bodies?
You are GOD’s image-bearer. God wants to reach the world through you, His temple. Just like it was in the ancient Temple building; people came from all the nations of the earth to meet with God in the Temple at Jerusalem. Now that you are His temple, there is no need for a physical temple, God can reach people through you, everywhere you go!
The enemy knows this, and doesn’t want it to be so. His goal is to kill, steal and destroy. This is why the sin of sexual immorality is highly cautioned against by Apostle Paul; and it is the one sin most single Christians struggle with in secret. Satan knows that if he can cause you to desecrate God’s Temple — your body, he can limit how God can use you to reach the world because of the guilt and negative emotions that follows the act of sexual immorality.
When someone commits sexual sin, the person is taken away from God’s presence, they start to feel like there’s a wall between them and God and they are unable to reach the world. Reaching the world does not literally mean going to a remote village for evangelism or being the Pastor of a 50,000 capacity congregation; it could be speaking to someone on the bus or calling an old friend to encourage them. We’re all called to do God’s work no matter how small, but how can we know when we can’t hear God? Sexual immorality takes away our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit so we’re unable to hear God or tune our hearts to Him.
God hates sin, when you desecrate God’s temple — your body, by committing the sin of sexual immorality, you make your body unfit for Him to live in. Your spirit becomes numb to the leading & promptings of the Holy Spirit. You also would be feeding the flesh to the detriment of building the Spirit. Other than that, the accuser of the brethren — Satan, comes up with his accusations and all the feelings of guilt would follow.
Staying sexually pure for God takes a conscious effort in how we choose to live our lives as single Christians. Who you choose to date, the places you go to, what you watch & read and even what you wear are all indicators of your decision to stay pure for God, to not violate God’s temple — your body.
Here are some practical ways to keep one’s self pure for God.
- If you’re in a non-marriage relationship, set clear boundaries with your partner. Let your partner know right from the start of your decision to stay pure for God until marriage. If you’re constantly being pressured whether subtly or out rightly to have sex by your partner, then it’s time to depart from such a relationship (run away LOL).
- Iron sharpens iron — Have a company of believers/friends who understand and believe in sexual purity according to God’s standard, because sometimes it may feel like you’re the only one walking that path. This is not true, the enemy will try to lie to you to give it all up, which is why you need people of like minds to hold you up when you’re weak.
- Have an accountability partner preferably someone of the same sex.
- Be mindful of what you watch, read, and listen to. Sexual Purity begins first in the mind.
- Choose to trust God with your sexual life. A lot of single Christians are given to fornication because they have believed in a lie that there’s a need to “test” (having sex outside of marriage to ensure you and your partner are sexually compatible). God created sex, not man. Trust him to provide for you the most compatible partner (Prov 23:18).
In all of the practical steps highlighted above to stay pure for God, the most important is surrendering to the Holy Spirit. For some staying sexually pure is such a STRUGGLE, for others it’s just a breeze. Whichever category you may belong to, understand that staying on this journey is neither by power nor might but the Holy Spirit of God living in us.
Please don’t try to do this by your power, yes be deliberate about your walk but at all times surrender to the Holy Spirit for strength.
If you’ve been sexually active before now, please know that;
- God doesn’t hate you.
- You’re not a “used rag”.
- You’re not going to end up with a terrible spouse as “punishment” for your sexual promiscuity.
- You’re not in any way less loved by God.
- As a matter of fact, God loves you.
While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. He is waiting to receive you into His kingdom and grant you victory over sin.
All it takes is a heart of repentance; acknowledging that you have sinned; that you need the blood of Jesus to wash you clean; and purpose to live pure for Him going forward.
Prayer of reconciliation. (You’re saved but you still struggle with sexual sin, and you want to make a decision going forward to keep God’s temple — your body pure).
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for your love and grace that is unending. I am sorry for the times I allowed lust to rule over me. Today, I make a decision to stay pure for you, I pray Lord that you strengthen and keep me and help me on this path in the end that your name may be glorified, in Jesus name, Amen.
Prayer of Salvation. (You’ve never accepted Jesus into your life, or you did and backslided, but you’re ready to have a relationship with Him now)
“Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for the sacrifice you paid for my sins on the cross of Calvary. I thank you that through this sacrifice I now have a relationship with God the Father, and get to spend eternity with you. I accept you into my life today, I ask that you come and sit on the throne of my heart, thank you Lord for loving me, thank you that I am Yours for life, in Jesus name, Amen.”
If you said any of the prayers above, and you need someone to guide you on this journey, or a community of young single Christians staying sexually pure for God, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading.
God bless you!!!